Constructing Research Questions
Doing Interesting Research
- Mats Alvesson - Lund University, Sweden
- Jorgen Sandberg - University of Queensland, Australia
Research Methods & Evaluation (General) | Sociological Research Methods
Traditional textbooks on research methods tend to ignore, or gloss over, actual ways of constructing research questions. In this text, Alvesson and Sandberg develop a problematization methodology for identifying and challenging the assumptions underlying existing theories and for generating research questions that can lead to more interesting and influential theories, using examples from across the social sciences. Established methods of generating research questions in the social sciences tend to focus on 'gap-spotting', which means that existing literature remains largely unchallenged. The authors show the dangers of conventional approaches, providing detailed ideas for how one can work through such problems and formulate novel research questions that challenge existing theories and produce more imaginative empirical studies.
Constructing Research Questions is essential reading for any researcher looking to formulate research questions that are interesting and novel.
Researchers usually puzzle about how to move from the scientific literature to a fruitful research topic. Alvesson and Sandberg address these puzzles in this sensible, practical book which deserves to become required reading for researchers.
Professor David Silverman
Goldsmiths' and King's College, University of London
This book is not for the faint hearted. It will appeal to those who already have some experience of research, or those at postgraduate level formulating their ideas for study. It will stimulate new ways of thinking about the design of research, something that is well overdue. Even if the problematization methodology and the frameworks the authors propose are not adopted wholesale, the book will encourage critical reflection at a level rarely seen in this area.
Interesting for developing research questions